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Explaining the Indiana "Brain Drain" and Quality of Education

Why one new study says Indiana is one of America's least educated states.

STATE WIDE--Indiana is one of the least educated states in America, said a new study by WalletHub. The Hoosier State was number 37, on WalletHub's list for 2019. But, Indiana was number 8 in quality of education.

LINK: WalletHub study

The overall score was based on graduation rates, math and reading scores, advanced placement exams and public school system quality. Twenty metrics were used in all, along with a panel of education experts to interpret the data.

"It ranks pretty well in terms of quality education, but it seems like there's a lot of brain drain going on in Indiana," said Jill Gonzalez, analyst at WalletHub. "That means the people who are educated tend to be leaving. So, the share of adults with at least some college experience, an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, a graduate or professional degree, seems to be decreasing."

Gonzalez said quality of education was measured with test scores, quality of the school systems, where Indiana fared well, and the gap in educational attainment, which Gozalez said could use some improvement.

"We're looking at a racial and a gender gap in educational attainment. So, the gender gap is pretty even. But, the racial gap between the percentage of black bachelor degree holders and their white counterparts, is still pretty large."

When asked how Indiana can improve most, Gonzalez said keeping people with degrees or at least some college experience would improve the state's educational outlook.

"That usually comes in the form of well-paying jobs," said said.

WalletHub said the most educated states were Massachusetts, Maryland, Vermont, Connecticut and Colorado. The bottom five were Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia and Mississippi.

PHOTO: Getty Images/Nirat

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